|President of Venezuela|
26 April 1884 – 15 September 1886
|Preceded by||Antonio Guzmán Blanco|
|Succeeded by||Antonio Guzmán Blanco|
|President of Venezuela|
October 7, 1892 – February 28, 1898
|Preceded by||Guillermo Tell Villegas Pulido|
|Succeeded by||Ignacio Andrade|
22 August 1841|
San Francisco de Cara, Aragua
|Died||16 April 1898
La Mata Carmelera, Cojedes
|Political party||Liberal Party|
Joaquín Sinforiano de Jesús Crespo Torres (Spanish pronunciation: [xoaˈkin simfoˈɾjano ðe xeˈsus ˈkɾespo ˈtores]; 22 August 1841 – 16 April 1898) was a politician, soldier, a member of the Great Liberal Party of Venezuela and President of Venezuela from 1884 to 1886 and again from 1892 to 1898. During the second Joaquín Crespo regime, the Venezuela Crisis of 1895 saw Venezuela's longstanding dispute with Great Britain about the territory of Guayana Esequiba, which Britain claimed as part of British Guiana and Venezuela saw as Venezuelan territory, come to a head. An international arbitral panel ultimately awarded most of the territory to Britain.
Background and early career 
Son of Leandro Crespo and María Aquilina Torres, Joaquín Crespo was born in San Francisco de Cara, lived his youth in Parapara, town of Guarico state, where he learned to read and write. His career in the military began in March, 1858 as a soldier under the command of Colonels José de Jesus, Donato Rodríguez and Zoilo Medrano. He rose to brigadier general on 17 March 1864. On 18 September 1864, he was married (in Parapara) to Jacinta Parejo, the widow of Ramón Silva. Crespo began in politics as deputy to the Legislative Assembly of Guarico in the same year, being the principal deputy of the state at the National Congress (1865–1868). After completing his term, he joined José Tadeo Monagas (being one of main supporters of Antonio Guzmán Blanco in combat against the Revolución Azul) (Blue Revolution) (1868–1870).
Crespo is soon elevated to the rank of General in Chief of the Venezuelan Army in 1871. With the support of Guzmán Blanco, his political and military career rises in short time. In quick succession he is designated as military and civilian chief of Guarico in 1871, second appointed of the Presidency of Venezuela in 1873, president of Guarico state in 1874, and, between 1876 until 1877, minister of war and navy. In 1879, Crespo was one of the political figures that claimed the return of government power to Guzmán Blanco, and was named civilian and military Chief of Maracay in 1880 and president of Guzmán Blanco state in 1882.
On 14 April 1884 Crespo was elected president of Venezuela by the Federal Council. Also in 1884, under the direction of Giussepi Orsi, Crespo started the construction of the Miraflores Palace for his family. He took office on 26 April 1884 and served until 15 September 1886, being succeeded by his predecessor Antonio Guzmán Blanco. After this, the Congress rewarded his loyalty with the title of Héroe del Deber Cumplido (Hero of Fulfilled Duties) on 29 April 1886. In 1888, after the political reactions against Guzmán prompted by president Juan Pablo Rojas Paul, Crespo decided to travel to Trinidad where he made preparations for an uprising. The attempt failed, however, and he was arrested aboard the schooner Ana Jacinta and transferred to La Rotunda jail in Caracas before being exiled. Senator for Guárico (1890–1892), he opposed the constitutional reform promoted by president Raimundo Andueza Palacio
Crespo was the main leader of the Revolución Legalista (Legalist Revolution) in 1892, and retook the Presidency on 7 October 1892. In the words of Thomas Rourke, the second presidency of Crespo, which continued for six years after the revolution that had put him into power, was simply a repetition of the two years he had been in power before, or even worse. Crespo acted as dictator, created new debts for the nation, ruined the foreign credit of the merchants, getting funds from Germany to pay the debts of the railroad, but most of the money found its way into the pockets of his friends.
In 1895 the Venezuela Crisis of 1895 saw Venezuela's longstanding dispute with Great Britain about the territory of Guayana Esequiba, which Britain claimed as part of British Guiana and Venezuela saw as Venezuelan territory, come to a head. As the dispute became a crisis, the key issue became Britain's refusal to include in the proposed international arbitration the territory east of the "Schomburgk Line", which a surveyor had drawn half a century earlier as a boundary between Venezuela and the former Dutch territory of British Guiana. The crisis ultimately saw Britain accept the United States' intervention in the dispute to force arbitration of the entire disputed territory, and tacitly accept the United States' right to intervene under the Monroe Doctrine. A tribunal convened in Paris in 1898 to decide the matter, and in 1899 awarded the bulk of the disputed territory to British Guiana.
On 16 June 1893 new constitution is established, the major changes being the increase of the presidential term from two for four years, and direct suffrage. In February 1894 Crespo obtained 349,447 votes at the presidential elections.
In 1897 Crespo endorsed the candidature of Ignacio Andrade for the presidential elections of September, 1898. However, Andrade's victory at the elections was fraudulent, causing the eruption of an armed movement led by General José Manuel "Mocho" Hernández, known as Queipa Revolution. For this reason, Crespo in his role as leader of the Army decides to destroy the uprising, being killed at La Mata Carmelera (Cojedes). Crespo, like many major figures of Venezuelan history, was linked to Freemasonry, being mason in the 33rd degree. Crespo was buried at the Southern General Cemetery of Caracas, in a private mausoleum on 24 April 1898. An obituary listed him as "killed in battle."
See also 
- Thomas Rourke, Gomez, Tyrant of the Andes, Greenwood Press, 1969; ISBN 8371-2698-3).
- Willard L. King (2007), Melville Weston Fuller - Chief Justice of the United States 1888-1910, Macmillan. p249
- Graff, Henry F., Grover Cleveland (2002). ISBN 0-8050-6923-2. pp123-25
- Shaw, Albert (1898). "Obituaries". The American Monthly Review of Reviews (New York: The Review of Reviews Co.): p. 539.